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The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘Straight Flush’ by Ben Mezrich

The subtitle of Ben Mezrich’s new book will have a familiar ring to some: “The True Story of Six College Friends Who Dealt Their Way to a Billion-Dollar Online Poker Empire — and How It All Came Crashing Down . . .” He’s also the author of “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook — A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal”; “Busting Vegas: A True Story of Monumental Excess, Sex, Love, Violence, and Beating the Odds”; and “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.”

You get the idea: Mezrich writes about the meteoric rise to riches of young bros behaving badly. Or, at least, as in the case of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, not very nicely. There’s also his questionable “technique of re-created dialogue” as well as the “re-created” inner thoughts of his characters, based on “multiple interviews” and “thousands of pages of court documents.” Mezrich’s “technique” has resulted in several bestsellers as well as Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-winning screenplay adaption of the Facebook story, “The Social Network,” and the Kevin Spacey-starring version of the MIT cardsharp story, “21.”

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